No personal interest in Vizhinjam deal: Judicial panel

The Commission observed the deal was executed following studies carried out by three expert agencies and was evaluated by the Empowered Committee.

Published: 17th April 2018 04:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th April 2018 04:10 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The Judicial Commission inquiring into irregularities in the deal signed between the previous UDF Government and the Adani Group over developing the Vizhinjam port observed it could not find any personal interest in executing the deal.

The Commission - headed by Justice C N Ramachandran Nair - on Monday heard from former Ports Principal Secretary James Varghese in Kochi.

The Commission observed the deal was executed following studies carried out by three expert agencies and was evaluated by the Empowered Committee. The state Cabinet later took the decision to execute the Vizhinjam port project. The decision lacks any personal interest, the Commission observed.

However, the Commission maintained a pessimistic stand over the Adani Group enjoying the right to mortgage the government-acquired land for the Vizhinjam project. According to the Commission, the government will have to bow before the lenders to whom the land will be pledged. This will lead the government to court. The Commission pointed out the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report claiming user fees for fishermen accessing the fishing harbour close to the port is against facts.

James Varghese said the agreement for the Vizhinjam deal was made on the basis of conditions laid down by the Central Planning Board. He provided explanations on 28 findings given in the CAG report. The Commission, set to hear from the Adani Group on Tuesday, has also decided to visit the site for the port.

Meanwhile, the government failed to give an explanation on its stand over the Vizhinjam deal before the Commission again. The Commission asked the government to provide clarity on the aspects in the deal that have to be included in its probe.

Bhagavata Sapthaham
at Ayyappankavu temple
Kochi: The Bhagavata Sapthaham began at Ernakulam Ayyappankavu temple on Monday. The idol for installation at the yajnasala was brought from Chittoor Srikrishna temple in a procession. Temple high priest
K G Sreenivasan installed the idol and chief priest P A Sudhi lighted the ceremonial lamp. Justice
P S Gopinathan inaugurated the Sapthaham and Sree Narayana Dharma Samajam president
C M Sobhanan presided.


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